Can you trick the Samsung Galaxy S8‘s iris scanner or can’t you? One group said yes, but Samsung cried foul.
The story so far
This week a German group of hackers named the Chaos Computer Club showed how you could trick the Galaxy S8’s iris scanner with a photograph of someone’s eye and a contact lens. The hackers’ video went viral.
Samsung retorted that the hack was unrealistic, The Korea Herald reported.
“You need a camera that can capture infrared light (used in the video), which is no longer available in the market,” a Samsung spokesperson told The Korea Herald. “Also, you need to take a photo of the owner’s iris and steal his smartphone. It is difficult for the whole scenario to happen in reality.”
While this isn’t out of the realm of possibility for a dedicated thief, CNET has tried and failed at fooling a Galaxy S8 iris scanner with a life-size color photo of an editor’s face.
The thing about biometrics is
Biometric data — like fingerprint reading and iris scans — is quickly becoming the gold standard for smartphone security. Not only do they protect you from data-snatchers, but your fingertips and eyeballs also are your key to Samsung Pay and Android Pay on the Galaxy S8. That makes mobile security a big deal.
The hackers’ final word…for now
Dirk Engling, a spokeperson for the hackers, said that if you want to protect the data on your phone or use it for payment, a PIN is safer than using your body parts for authentication.
Samsung did not respond to a request for comment.